For cookies and cream fanatics, there’s nothing better than Oreo cheesecake. Cookies and cream ice cream is pretty amazing, but better suited for hot summer days. The rest of the year you could make something like Oreo brownies or a cookies and cream cake, but nothing truly embraces the spirit of cookies and cream quite like a velvety Oreo Cheesecake.
This Oreo cheesecake starts with an Oreo crust filled with a baked cheesecake filling mixed with crushed Oreos. After cooling, the top of the cake is coated with smooth white chocolate ganache and decorated with whipped cream and even more Oreos. It’s indulgent, nostalgic, and unmistakably cookies and cream.
How To Bake a Cheesecake in a Water Bath
A water bath is the secret to making a luxurious, velvety cheesecake. Sure, you can skip the water bath and still make a delightful cheesecake, but the improved texture is worth the extra step. A water bath serves a dual purpose: It raises the humidity of the oven preventing a crust from forming on top, and it heats the cheesecake slowly and evenly for a silkier texture.
To use a water bath, you will need a pan larger than the springform cake pan. You can use a larger cake pan, a roasting pan, a Dutch oven, or even a large foil roasting pan. Wrap the outside of the springform pan with several layers of aluminum foil, then set it in the roasting pan.
Springform pans are not water-tight, so the foil helps keep the water out. Place the nested pans in the preheated oven and carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Then close the oven, bake, and await an extra luscious cheesecake.
Soften the Cream Cheese to Room Temperature
To make the smoothest cheesecake, soften the cream cheese to room temperature before mixing. Beat cream cheese with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed before adding the eggs to ensure it’s perfectly smooth and lump-free. If it’s not softened and blended first, the batter will have lumps that remain in the cake once baked.
How Can I Prevent My Cheesecake From Cracking?
Cracks form when a cheesecake over bakes or when it undergoes temperature changes too quickly. While cracks affect the appearance of your cake, it won’t actually affect the taste too much unless the cake is severely overbaked. Chances are, even if the cake cracks, it will still taste excellent. That said, there are a few techniques you can try to prevent cracking for a perfectly smooth cheesecake.
- Mix the cheesecake batter on low or medium-low speed. Beating at too high a speed incorporates too much air into the batter. The air will expand during baking and collapse as the cake cools, causing cracks to form.
- Cheesecakes benefit from low, slow, even baking. Bake the cheesecake at 325°F and use a water bath if you can.
- If you have a convection oven, it’s best not to use the fan or convection function for cheesecakes, since they’re more prone to overbaking.
- When you remove the cake from the oven, let it cool in the water bath for an hour before letting it cool on a rack. This lets the cake cool more gradually, so it's less likely to crack. If you skipped the water bath, let it cool in the oven with the door ajar for 30 minutes.
- Even if your cheesecake cracks, it will still be delicious. Plus, you can disguise the cracks under a layer of white chocolate ganache so no one will know.
Tips and Tricks for an Irresistible Oreo Cheesecake
Making a cheesecake can be a lot of work, but there are a few easy things you can do along the way to ensure you make an irresistible cheesecake worth all the effort.
- This recipe was designed to use the exact number of cookies in a family pack of Oreos (48 cookies). But if you’re the type of person that tosses in extra add-ins for good measure, or you can’t resist a sample (for quality assurance, of course), then go for two standard packs of Oreos instead.
- The easiest way to crush the Oreos is in a food processor. If you don't have one, don't let that stop you, though. You can also place the Oreos in a large freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Use softened blocks of full-fat cream cheese. Don't use low-fat cream cheese or the cream cheese that comes in a tub. These types have a higher moisture content than the brick cream cheese, which will affect the texture of the cheesecake.
- To check if the cheesecake is done baking, give it a gentle shake. The cheesecake should still have a bit of movement in the center when it’s done baking. It should jiggle slightly but not slosh like liquid. Ovens all behave differently, so it's okay to peak once you get close to the end of the baking time.
- If the cheesecake begins to crack at all while baking, you can skip the rest of the baking time and move on to the cooling step.
- For the ganache, you can use either white chocolate chips or finely chop a bar of white chocolate. White chocolate chips are more convenient, but bars are generally cheaper per ounce. They both work equally well.
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days. You can also freeze the cheesecake without the toppings for up to a month. The frozen cheesecake can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for 3 to 4 hours.
You can also freeze individual slices of cheesecake for an easy dessert later. Wrap slices well in plastic wrap, then in foil and freeze. Thaw unwrapped slices in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
More Cheesecake Recipes to Try
Chilling time for the cheesecake is between 4 to 12 hours.
There’s no need to remove the cream filling from the Oreos when making the crust.
For the Oreo crust
1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake
4 (8 ounce) packages full-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons(35g) all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup (75g) sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the white chocolate ganache
6 ounces (170g) white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
For the whipped cream
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons (14g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (9x2 3/4-inch) round springform pan
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Crush the Oreos for the crust:
Pulse the Oreos for the crust in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until finely ground into crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and pulse a few times to distribute.
If you don't have a food processor: You can place the Oreos in a zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Transfer the Oreo crumbs to a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to combine with a rubber spatula.
Press the Oreo crumbs in springform pan:
Dump the crumbs into the bottom of an ungreased 9x2 3/4-inch round springform pan. Use your fingers or the bottom of a glass to press the Oreos crumbs into the pan and slightly up the sides to form an even, compact crust.
Bake the crust:
Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. The kitchen should smell chocolatey and buttery. Set it aside to cool while preparing the cheesecake filling.
Reduce the oven temp and boil water:
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
Set a kettle or a large pot of water on the stove over medium-high heat and let it come to a boil while preparing the cheesecake filling. The boiling water will be used later for the water bath, where you’ll need enough water to fill a roasting pan halfway.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour on medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beating on medium-low speed prevents too much air from being incorporated into the batter, which can cause cracks during baking.
Add the eggs:
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well on medium-low speed after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula between additions.
Add the sour cream and vanilla:
Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined. The batter should be creamy and smooth.
Crush the Oreos and stir into batter:
Pulse the Oreos in the food processor or crush them in a zip-top bag with a rolling pin. There should be a mix of large Oreo pieces and small crumbs.
Stir the crushed Oreos into the cheesecake batter with a rubber spatula.
Prepare the water bath and bake:
Wrap the outside of the springform pan in 3 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, ensuring there are no holes or gaps where water could get through. Springform pans are not water-tight, and the foil prevents water from destroying the crust while baking in the water bath.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust in the prepared springform pan and set the cheesecake in the middle of a large roasting pan.
Place the nested pans in the oven. Carefully pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake the cheesecake until set and only slightly jiggly in the middle two inches of the cake, 60 to 75 minutes.
Cool the cheesecake:
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath for 1 hour.
Take the cheesecake out of the water bath and remove the aluminum foil. Set it on a wire rack to cool an hour longer before placing it in the refrigerator uncovered. You should chill your cheesecake overnight, or at least for 4 hours.
Make the white chocolate ganache:
You can make your ganache when your cheesecake is close to being fully chilled. Place the white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until it barely comes to a simmer, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it sit without stirring for 2 minutes. Gently stir the chocolate and cream together with a whisk or heat-proof spatula until completely smooth.
Set the ganache aside to cool slightly while making the whipped cream.
Make the whipped cream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to stiff peaks on medium-high speed, about 3 to 4 minutes. The cream should thicken and when you pull the whisk out of the bowl, the peak should stand up.
Add the ganache:
Once the cheesecake has chilled you can begin decorating. The ganache should have cooled slightly but still be a pourable consistency. If the ganache has set too much, you can rewarm it in the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring each time, until smooth and spreadable.
For clean sides, leave the cheesecake in the pan while decorating; for artistic drips down the sides, or to cover the sides completely, remove the cheesecake from the pan before decorating.
Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake and spread evenly using an offset spatula or butter knife.
Fill a piping bag with whipped cream and pipe onto cake:
Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with whipped cream. Pipe 12 rosettes of whipped cream along the edge of the cheesecake.
Decorate with Oreos:
Slice 6 Oreos in half and place an Oreo half into each rosette of whipped cream. Chop or crush the remaining Oreo cookies and sprinkle them in the center of the cheesecake on top of the ganache.
Refrigerate and serve:
Refrigerate the cheesecake until ready to serve.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 57g||73%|
|Saturated Fat 28g||140%|
|Total Carbohydrate 83g||30%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Total Sugars 52g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|